Four days of attritional competition ended in something of a flurry as Kevin Koe’s Canadian team beat fellow former world champion Thomas Ulsrud’s Norwegian rink in the Mercure City of Perth Masters title decider at the Dewar’s Centre.

Attempts to get a helicopter on standby having fallen through as Ulsrud and his men sought to work out how to make their flight home from Aberdeen yesterday evening before almost immediately heading to Las Vegas for the Ryder Cup-style Continental Cup between North America and the Rest of the World, these victims of their own success had to get through the final as quickly as possible and played at an extraordinary pace.

Using a time clock because the match was being televised they required less than one third of their allotted 32 minutes ‘thinking time’ before conceding in the seventh of the scheduled eight ends when Ulsrud just failed with a superb attempt to pull off a spectacular hit and lie in seeking to remove three opposition shots with what proved played his final stone.

In the event he just failed to push one of the Canadian stones far enough and was forced to shake hands having fallen 7-4 behind.

It was a meeting of the two best teams in the competition who had negotiated the preliminary stages unbeaten and for all that the haste with which Team Ulsrud were playing added a strange dynamic it was still a high quality encounter with the Norwegian skip suggesting they had not been overly disadvantaged and that lessons could be learned beyond their sport.

“It just shows that a curling game doesn’t have to take two hours,” he observed.

“We didn’t actually rush it that much so it’s possible. Speed curling… it’s the same as it shouldn’t take you four and a half, five hours to play a round of golf either.”

Their approach might have unsettled their opponents, too, as Koe acknowledged.

“It was definitely different,” he said.

“Our team wasn’t playing too slow for a typical game but you look at the clocks and it’s a little crazy. “They played well, though. We got a big three when they might have taken a little more time to look at some angles, but who knows if that changes anything. They definitely didn’t play poorly.”

To some extent Team Ulsrud’s dilemma reflected the transition the sport has been going through from semi-professional to one in which livings can be made, Koe’s earnings in Perth taking his rink past the $100,000 mark for the season, second in the world only to fellow Canadians Team Gushue who won this event last year.

With the sort of increasing profile which also saw this tournament televised by the BBC for the first time - 11 matches in all being broadcast live - comes increased opportunities and it is understandable that players want to seize them.

That there is also room to have some fun was also demonstrated by Ulsrud’s decision to let Norwegian comedian Henrik Elvstrad play for them in the first of their preliminary round matches as something of a publicity stunt.

“He asked to come along and he’s trying out six different sports and he’s been practising hard for half a year now… six months to see how good he could be,” Ulsrud explained.

“We told him he could only play one shot… his only shot was an in-turn draw. He played that for eight ends and we managed to win the game, so he was really pumped and excited. That will be coming on the main TV channel in Norway for two hours which is really good to promote curling.”

As in the UK the Norwegians have seen interest in their sport grow since they won claimed a gold medal at Salt Lake City in 2002, their men matching Rhona Martin’s ‘stone of destiny’ when winning an Olympic title.

“We’ve been miked up here too and that’s kind of special for sports,” Ulsrud noted.

“Obviously when it’s Olympics and World Championships and it’s shown on TV in Norway they have really big viewing numbers. We only have five million people in Norway and when Pal Trulsen won the Olympics there were more than a million watching. Twenty five per cent of the population watching, that’s a big deal.”

It was perhaps no surprise, then, that the most experienced of the Scottish rinks in dealing with such attention, David Murdoch’s Olympic silver medallists, carried home hopes longest, reaching the semi-final where they were beaten by Ulsrud.

Earlier on the final day they out-played the rink skipped by the fifth member of their Olympic team, Tom Brewster, in the quarter-final, while Team Mouat, one of the most promising young Scottish rinks, also lost at that stage to the Norwegians.

Though disappointed not to make the final, Murdoch felt the week’s performance confirmed their return to form after reaching the knockout stages at a recent Grand Slam event in Canada before winning a major international tournament in Japan to round off 2015.

“We were about a millimetre away from, taking a three and winning that game, but the most encouraging thing for us is that we’re playing really well,” he said.

“That’s been three really good tournaments for us now, beating some real big teams and we’re playing with a lot of confidence, which is all you can ask for as a team whether you win or lose.”